Kassim Ouma ready to test Bernard Hopkins

12.04.05 - The Bernard Hopkins-Jermain Taylor negotiations may have been drawn out, but Kassim Ouma took five seconds to accept the Hopkins fight when it was offered to him last week. "There was no hesitation," Ouma said. "I'm all about the challenge and proving who is best. Bernard Hopkins is the biggest test for any middleweight and I'm ready for him. He might be the best middleweight of all time and I want to prove my skills against that. How can you not want that if you are a champion?

"If Jermain doesn't want the opportunity, please give it to me. I'm ready to prove who is the best of the young guns. If I don't get Bernard in July, then I'll prove it later against the winner of Hopkins-Taylor. I cannot be avoided much longer. If you compare Jermain and me, who is more deserving? Compare our records! I've fought better guys. He's a good fighter and somewhere down the line we'll meet. Jermain has the hype but I have the better skills."

As the IBF junior middleweight world champion, Ouma sees no problem moving up to middleweight.

"I got mad love for Bernard," Ouma went on. "I've got so much respect for him, but I'll fight him anytime because that is what a champion should do. Prove yourself. I want those challenges. One of those fights that Bernard's got left, he needs to go against the best and Bernard knows that I'm the best coming up. He tells me every time I see him.

"Bernard is a true champion like me--he wants to fight the best. I fought all the toughest people coming up and now I'm here to stay. From the old King to the new King. The King of his generation needs to meet the King of the next generation. That is me, not Jermain. Why would Jermain hesitate when he gets an offer to meet the man. I still hope that Jermain turns it down. Then one phone call and Bernard and me will be having the best middleweight fight in generations."

Ouma is knocking on the door of the big names. He figures they can't avoid him forever.

"Everybody who don't want to fight me, where are they gonna go? They can't hide! The Winky-Tito winner, Bernard, Jermain, how can you say anymore who is the best middleweight if they don't let me in? They can't stop me. The Dream is on, I'm bringing the heat. Boxing needs great fights. Great fighters make great fights and I believe that I'll prove I'm the best. Let me take the test."

Article posted on 12.04.2005

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